We’ve seen The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin in theaters. We’ve seen The Lady and the Tramp on Disney+. And we’ve got Mulan, The Little Mermaid, and as of today, Pinocchio forthcoming. Yep, when it comes to the Disney creative slate, the modus operandi seems to be: Remake all the stuff that worked before in live-action/photorealistic CGI! Adding to this trend? Bambi, which according to The Hollywood Reporter, is the next Disney vault classic to get the live-action remake treatment.
Disney has already hired its writers to pen the new version’s screenplay: Geneva Robertson-Dworet, who co-wrote Captain Marvel for the studio, and Lindsey Beer, who wrote Sierra Burgess Is a Loser for Netflix. Robertson-Dworet and Beer, alongside Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) also run Known Universe, a production banner focused on female-helmed genre stories. While it’s unsure how far from the original film the new version’s narrative will stray, Disney is reportedly aware that Bambi tells a smaller story than the mythical scale of The Lion King, and aims to keep the live-action version’s scope similarly modest. The project also comes from Depth of Field, a production company run by brothers Chris and Paul Weitz (American Pie) and Andrew Miano (Columbus). In 2019, they had critical success with Lulu Wang‘s The Farewell, and they are also, surprise surprise, behind the aforementioned Robert Zemeckis-directed Pinocchio remake.
Visually, it sounds as though Disney is interested in having new Bambi feel similarly to The Jungle Book or The Lion King remakes, using similar “photorealistic CGI” tactics to present an almost “live-action” feeling naturescape. While no director has been announced yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney asks their boy Jon Favreau first. He directed both The Jungle Book and The Lion King to staggering box office numbers (if not staggering critical acclaim), and is currently spearheading Disney+’s The Mandalorian to huge cultural influence.